How the Light Gets In

Front Cover
Penguin Random House Australia, Jul 1, 2003 - Fiction - 324 pages
7 Reviews
I have read somewhere that a sheep raised by dogs will eventually learn to chase cars. But how long does it take to learn the tricks of another animal? How long will I need to live with the Hardings before I unlearn the tricks of my own family?
Lou Connor, a gifted, unhappy sixteen-year-old, is desperate to escape her life of poverty in Sydney. But when she travels to the United States as an exchange student, things go terribly wrong. This is the story of Lou's struggle for survival in the rich home of her strange host-family, and every detail is observed with dark humour and a defiance that veils Lou's longing for acceptance.
How the Light Gets in marks the arrival of a powerful new voice in Australian fiction. It delivers a highly charged study of the emotional intensity of adolescence. In Lou Connor, M.J. Hyland has created a memorable protagonist, one whose story is utterly compelling, from hopeful beginning to unexpected, haunting end.
'A brilliant capturing of the intensity of a child on the frightening brink of adulthood.' Sunday Telegraph
'M.J. Hyland is a real find.' The Bulletin
'Lou is a heartbreaking and compelling creation.' The Observer
'A dry and fantastically sarcastic voice.' Time Out
'Hyland is an intelligent writer grappling with serious questions about how we make our way in the world.' New York Times
'Expect to be blown away by M.J. Hyland.' The Guardian
'An edgy female Holden Caulfield . . . a story with grit and heart from an intelligent, perspicacious writer to watch.' Kirkus Reviews

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
0
4 stars
3
3 stars
4
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cecilturtle - LibraryThing

Lou is a decidedly unlikable character: self-centered, disrespectful, unaware and withdrawn. In other words, she is a typical teenager, seeing life through her narrow lens and unable to open her eyes ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jayne_charles - LibraryThing

This was very readable in terms of the writing style, and the theme was interesting enough – a gifted Australian teenager from a deprived background travels to Chicago to live with a family on some ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2003)

M.J. Hyland was born in London to Irish parents in 1968 and spent her early childhood in Dublin.She studied English and Law at the University of Melbourne and worked as a lawyer for several years. How the Light Gets In, her first novel, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Age Book of the Year Award, and was the joint winner of the Best Young Australian Novelist Award. Her second novel, Carry Me Down, was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize and wonboth the Hawthornden andEncore Prizes. Her most recentnovel is This is How. Hyland lives in Manchester, England, where she teaches in the Centre for New Writing atthe University of Manchester.

Bibliographic information